Thursday, August 23, 2007

more about alts

Well I said it would be a complicated topic and start a conversation - and I think it has. Esmie raised a wonderfully good point - and now we are faced with the quesiton of how far we go to limit freedom of expression if at all.

Let's take a look as some of the issues -

The US and Europe have very different takes on Freedom of Speech. If you go to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (and if you haven't and have been to Amsterdam you should be ashamed of yourself and if you haven't been to Amsterdam you should think about how you could get to go) (RL Amsterdam ROTFL) you will have seen the room where they raise these questions through a series of videos - to limit speech to protect a minority or to allow freedom of speech. The US consititution is very clear - except for speech which incites riot or which causes harm directly people can say what they want. After all, who will decide what is ok? And if your team decides today, who knows what team or party will be in power tomorrow - perhaps one that hates you.

On the other hand the EU is very clear - speech which demeans a group of people is illegal.

So - what to do with Alts. Are they Free Speech - or are they individuals who are engaging in acts which have consequences.

Interesting - it depends on whether or not you think SL is a game.

Esmie and I have talked and we agree - SL is NOT a GAME. It is real people having real relationships with other Real People.

Well - then - what does this mean? It means that when I do something in SL to you - I have to be as accountable as I am in RL for the consequences of my actions. And if I harm you - hurt you - then I have to be accountable for that. And to whom am I accountable - well - that's another thorny problem. Certainly to my community, whatever that may be, and to you, and to myself. SL is resident created - and LL puts very little limitation on speech and activity. So it is up to us.

Now we don't want to spend a lot of time developing rules and laws. It wouldn't be right - that's not who comes here - constitutionlists for the most part. So how to see this. It is a problem.

The famous German philosopher and educator and architect and artist Rudoph Steiner said it well I think in what he termed the Fundamental Social Law - which is :

‘The well-being of a community of people working together will be the greater, the less the individual claims for himself the proceeds of his work, i.e. the more of these proceeds he makes over to his fellow-workers, the more his own needs are satisfied, not out of his own work but out of the work done by others’.

So what do we do to implement this if we want to. Well we could interpret it as follows:

The well being of a group of people is improved the more each person works for the happiness and well being of each of his fellows and allows them to work for his.

Esmie also raised the question - "What is Sexy?" in his blog. So let's look at that also - what is sexy sex or what is sexy love making?

Well - hmm - same thing. If you are about your own pleasure then what are you really doing - it has a name and begins with M although in slang in the US it begins with J and in England with a W. ROTFL. If you are concentrating on your own pleasure - well - that's what is happening. Good love making- in my opinion - that is SEXY - is all about the other person. I don't have to concentrate on me at all - if I concentrate on you - and you concentrate on me - that is making love. The rest is well, jack-o-wanking - a new term i just made up on the spot.

How many of us had the experience of having sex with someone in SL who was all about his own xcite bits, or his own timing, or his own pleasure. What a bore. But when I am with someone who emotes, and concentrates on me - well - then I feel them, taste them, touch them - sense them - and when it finally happens for me because of them doing the same - well - -that's sexy.

So it seems to be true in everything - it isn't about what I need - it is about what you need. If I am on the case of what you need, and you on the case of what I need, and all of us on the case of what each of the others needs - well - a community of real caring forms.

Against this we can look at the intention of creating an Alt - and how it affects all the people around us. Is it created for selfish reasons? How does it help my family and friends?

What do you all think?


Esmiel said...

"Jack-o-wanking"???? LMAO

Well sure Gabie... a situation can be just as sexy as a person, if not more so, cos there are usually two hotties getting down to it. If one of those is someone you love (and the other one is you LOL) then thats as good as it gets.

As for alts + freedom of speech - you can say whatever the hell you want in your original account, so unless you plan on using your alt as a "direct action" freedom fighter or terrorist then its pointless having an alt to engage in free speech - you get that in your original account.

But the reason you would create an alt to become a terrorist anyway is to escape accountability. What a bitchin' issue. I like the fact we are able to have an alt, and can use it to explore a different part of ourselves, or to escape a situation - like Nicholai had an alt, Kiyoshi, that he used to escape Gor and come see me on 'Earth'.

So - alts can be used for good and bad, its the user's morals and reasons that must be examined and judged, not their 'actions'.

*Goes back to jack-o-wanking*

Osayo said...

I do not think alts are inherently good or bad. They, like many other things can be used for both good and bad. Es and Gabe have good examples on both ends of the spectrum.

An analogy, most people purchase cars with the intent to do good things like go to work, bring their kids to school, buy food, etc... But, then you have a small number of people who will become car bombers, or drunk drivers etc... Should we ban cars? That is only one example, you could probably make similar arguments for almost anything, knives... prepare food or stab people? My point is that it is not the thing itself, it is the person using it.

As far as accountability goes, most people are not as anonymous as they think on the Internet. LL has server logs with their IP addresses, if they don't use a proxy and then connect with the same computer as their primary account, it's not that hard for them to figure out who the "anonymous alt" is. I also remember reading that they create a hardware hash of your PC, so, they could use that also (can't remember for sure, could be completely wrong on that).

Basically what I am trying to say is it's not the object, it is the person using it, and there are some people that will act like complete idiots when they think there are no consequences. So, I don't think alts themselves are to blame but the perceived anonymity and the character and intent of the person using it.

John Gabriel said it best, and Penny Arcade made it funny Penny Arcade

Micha said...

on the point which way we must look about alts... i guess the american way.. because Linden Lab. is situated in the states and therefore the us laws are in order with them.

however i have the feeling that there are more europeans then americans on SL.

as long as we europeans stay within the laws and rules of our countries, european union and the treaty of Geneve... the american law cant harm us much.

then the other part.. ID.. i agree that LL is going too far.. and the only reason that they want our specific information is to control and track SL and alts more closely and i think within short time LL will close SL for unidentified persons and more later i think the identified persons must pay for access to SL.

looks like Linden Lab is going on towards a Bush dictator regime.

Micha said...

btw osayo.. if you have the software you can not only see/track down the IP adress but also the adress on your hdd (believes its the mac adress).. which is like the IP an unique adress

where IP is ur Internet Adress and can be dynamic.
the hdd adress is your unique code on your hard drive and cannot be dynamic.

so if you are on a site ip-banned .. you can change it by dynamic IP.. hooray..
but if the site/company has the software to see and ban your harddrive adress.. then you need another hdd or pc to get back on that site

are you prepared for battle against LL :P:P